As someone who has undergone orthodontic treatment, you know that achieving a straight and beautiful smile doesn’t end when your braces are removed. After Invisalign, most people are fitted with retainers to guarantee their teeth stay in their proper position. While retainers are essential for maintaining newly-aligned teeth, they can also have some issues. 

Let’s look at the most common retainer problems and how to avoid them.

How Do Retainers Work?

Before we dive into the common problems associated with retainers, it’s essential to understand how they work: 

Retainers are custom-made devices that keep your teeth in place following orthodontic treatment. Depending on your dentist’s suggestions, they might be removable or permanent.

The most popular variety is removable retainers, typically composed of transparent plastic. They fit over your teeth and are quickly removed for eating and cleaning. Permanent retainers are often constructed of a thin wire connected to the back of your teeth and hidden from view.

Regardless of the type of retainer, they both work to prevent your teeth from shifting back to their original position.

Are you wondering, “What’s the cost of Invisalign, and what type of retainers should I use?” You can contact an Invisalign provider for more details. 

What Are the Most Common Retainer Problems?

Retainers That Do Not Fit Properly

One common problem with retainers is that they do not fit properly. If your retainer is not snug against your teeth, it will not be effective in holding them in their correct position. Ill-fitting retainers can also cause discomfort and pain.

To avoid this problem, follow your dentist’s instructions for wearing and caring for your retainer. Contact your local Invisalign dentist if your retainer feels loose or uncomfortable. They can adjust or create a new retainer to ensure it fits properly.

Broken Retainers

Another common problem with retainers is that they can break. This happens if you accidentally drop your retainer, step on it, or wear it down over time. Broken retainers are ineffective in holding your teeth in place and can even cause damage to your teeth or gums.

To avoid this problem, make sure to handle your retainer with care. When not used, place it in a protective case, and avoid exposure to extreme temperatures. If your retainer does break, contact your dental clinic immediately to have it repaired or replaced.

Retainers That Cause Pain or Discomfort

Some individuals experience pain or discomfort when wearing their retainer. This can happen if the retainer is too tight or pressing against a sensitive area of your mouth.

To avoid this problem, follow your dentist’s instructions for wearing and caring for your retainer and determine what can be treated by the procedure. If your retainer continues to cause pain or discomfort, contact your local Invisalign dentist to have it adjusted or replaced.

Proper Maintenance of Retainers

Another common problem with retainers is that people do not properly maintain them. Retainers must be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria and plaque buildup. They also need to be appropriately stored to prevent damage.

To avoid this problem:

  1. Follow your dentist’s instructions for cleaning and storing your retainer.
  2. Make use of a soft-bristled toothbrush and a mild soap or cleaning solution to clean your retainer.
  3. Refrain from using hot water or abrasive cleaners, as they could damage the material of your retainer.
  4. Keep your retainer in a secure location that will not be misplaced or destroyed. 
  5. When not in use, keep your retainer in its case. 
  6. Don’t wrap your retainer in a tissue or paper towel since it might be thrown away.

You can check here for some tips to learn how to care for your retainers.


Retainers are crucial for maintaining oral health after orthodontic treatment, but they can come with problems if not correctly cared for. Common issues include breakage, loss, wear and tear, poor fit, and improper maintenance. To avoid these, follow the dentist’s instructions for wearing, cleaning, and storing retainers. Regular check-ups can help diagnose issues and ensure proper fit. Proper care of retainers will prevent problems and keep smiles straight and beautiful.